non-profit organization that “that provides for wellbeing of the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)” was awarded a $2.5 million forgivable PPP loan by the (Small Business Administration) SBA. The Friends of Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) is the only organization “authorized to represent the IDF across the United States and Panama” where they claim to operate 20 regional offices, with a P.O. Box in New York.
The FIDF’s loan was filed under the category of “religious organization” in the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan data, despite the NPO being listed as a Y12 organization under the IRS’ NTEE classification system for non-profits: a “Mutual/Membership Benefit Organization,” which (in the case of FIDF) raises funds for issues relating to “foreign affairs and national security,” according to the tax-exempt organizations database published by ProPublica.
The FIDF is the largest donor organization to the IDF and its CEO, 33-year IDF veteran Maj. Gen. (res.) Meir Klifi-Amir, receives an annual salary of over $1 million. Klifi served as Netanyahu’s military secretary before retiring in 2010 and working as a security consultant, specializing in “national security and strategic planning for governments and agencies worldwide.” He was appointed to the top post of the FIDF in 2014. Questioned about the untoward “bonuses” of half a million dollars he was given by the NPO, Klifi justifies it by asserting that he “manages to raise three times as much as the second largest organization” and claims the job is one that “nobody is enthusiastic about,” despite perks like flying business class as a part of his contract.
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